Tara Poling, Program Coordinator, MEEC - Marianist Environmental Education Center and Liaison for Marianist Retreat Centers, sends us this update.
The solar prairie at Mount Saint John was seeded on Wednesday, May 31, 2023—special thanks to Terry Lavy and the crew. Our land volunteers will hand broadcast more seeds in the areas the drill couldn’t reach over the next week. The panels will produce 854 kW of electricity at peak power, enough annually to meet all the electric needs of the Novitiate & Meyer Hall communities, the Bergamo Center, Gallery Saint John, Queen of Apostles, the North American Center for Marianist Studies, and of course MEEC & MSJ Facilities. The 1,920 panels cover three acres of the front field and were manufactured in Toledo, Ohio. We seeded low-growing native prairie grasses with an oat cover crop and will eventually add some prairie wildflowers. The fence is far enough off the ground to allow small animals unrestricted access. The solar array and prairie habitat are part of the Marianist Province of the US - Brothers and Priests’ commitment to integral ecology and the Laudato Si Action Platform. We look forward to watching this new habitat grow and evolve!